Dover Strait west

Introduction

This area covers the predominantly south-east facing coastline between Margate and Jury's Gap (just east of Rye).

The Dover Strait is the busiest international seaway in the world, used by over 400 commercial vessels daily. Much of the area is shingle beach, with white chalk cliffs around Dover and North Foreland.

Times of high water

Ramsgate: High water is 19 minutes after high water at Dover

Sandwich: High water is 1 hours after high water at Dover

Dover: Is a standard port.

Folkestone: High water is 10 minutes before high water at Dover

Tidal streams

North Foreland to Foreness Point: The tidal flow near to the land is a little complex - all times given are relative to high water at Dover. The flow is north-west from -1:20 to +0:45. It is then irregular and turbulent until it begins flowing south-east at +4:40. The south-east stream continues until -4:50, when the streams become weak and irregular until they begin to flow north-west again. Maximum flows are reported to be around 3 knots,

Between Ramsgate and North Foreland: The north going stream begins at 1 hours and 40 minutes before high water at Dover. The south going stream begins at 4 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Dover. Tidal streams inshore are fairly weak.

Off Ramsgate: The north north-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 15 minutes before high water at Dover. The south south-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Off Margate: The east north-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 40 minutes after high water at Dover. The west south-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Off Pegwell Bay: The tidal streams are weak.

Between Deal and Ramsgate: The north going stream begins at 1 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Dover. The south going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 3 knots at springs.

River Stour Bar: The north-east going stream begins at 2 hours after high water at Dover. The south-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 50 minutes before high water at Dover. Flows are strong.

Off Deal: The north going stream begins at 1 hours and 30 minutes before high water at Dover. The south going stream begins at 4 hours and 45 minutes after high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Outside the Dover Breakwater: The east north-east going stream begins at 2 hours and 10 minutes before high water at Dover. The west south-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Dover. The east north-east going stream reaches a speed of 4.1 knots at springs. The west south-west going stream reaches a speed of 2.5 knots at springs.

Off the end of Folkestone Breakwater: The east north-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 55 minutes before high water at Dover. The west south-west going stream begins at 3 hours and 20 minutes after high water at Dover. The east north-east going stream reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs. The west south-west going stream reaches a speed of 1.5 knots at springs. An eddy runs west from Copt Point during the east-going stream. The flow along the north east side of the breakwater is almost constantly south.

Between Dungeness and Folkestone: The north north-east going stream begins at 1 hours and 45 minutes before high water at Dover. The south south-west going stream begins at 5 hours and 15 minutes after high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 1 knots at springs.

Dungeness: The north north-east going stream begins at 2 hours before high water at Dover. The south south-west going stream begins at 4 hours and 30 minutes after high water at Dover. The flow reaches a speed of 2 knots at springs.

Notes

Dover Port: In the area around the port, stay in contact with Dover Port Control on VHF 74. Permission is required to cross the harbour mouth. There is a useful video on the Port website.

Hythe ranges: Firing times online. Contact South East Operations room on 01420 483405.

Lydd Firing range: Firing times can be found online. The South East Operations room can be contacted for the most up to date information on 01420 483405.

Access/Egress

Ramsgate: (TR 388 650) g Car parks along Marina Esplanade, some near ramps to the beach.

Birchington west: (TR 284 695) g Parking along the road, ramp down to beach and slipway.

Deal The Marina: (TR 378 535) g Roadside parking on the road that runs along the beach (called The Marina).

Sandwich: (TR 333 582) g Car park just to the east of the bridge on the south bank of the river. The car park is by a high quayside, but it is likely easier to get in using the slipway at the east end of the car park behind the Medieval Centre.

Deal Walmer Beach: (TR 378 505) g Large car park by the beach.

Kingsdown: (TR 380 478) g The road follows the shingle beach. Parking along the road.

St. Margaret's Bay: (TR 369 445) g Car park by the beach, steps down the sea wall.

Folkestone Lower Sandgate: (TR 228 356) g Car park with height barrier, also some roadside parking. Close to beach.

Hythe Princes Parade: (TR 169 344) g Small car park, with nearby ramps down to beach.

Dymchurch: (TR 100 290) g Large car park. Carry up and down steps over sea wall to access beach.

Greatstone Beach: (TR 082 228) g Large car park a short walk over the dunes to the beach. Walk across the beach may be long at low water.

Suggested trips

Back to index